Game Preview: Los Angeles Lakers at Charlotte Bobcats

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers take on the Bobcats in Charlotte in the second half of their back to back. Dwight Howard will play tonight as the purple and gold look to take the all-time series lead.

Showtime

4:00 pm PST

Plot

It's time for game two of the second back-to-back in this seven game road trip for the Los Angeles Lakers, as they take on the Charlotte Bobcats. After a flat game against the Boston Celtics the Lakers are now 3-2 on the road trip, and have only the Bobcats and Heat left before they head home to Los Angeles. Dwight Howard will play after saying post-game it would depend on how his shoulder felt.

The Bobcats are on a five game losing streak. They've only won three times in the year of 2013. On the season, they are 11-37. Yet, breaking down wins and losses didn't mean much for the Lakers when they played the Phoenix Suns. If anything, we've learned that there's no "safe" game for the Lakers, and just a day after getting waxed by the Boston Celtics, they could drop this game as well.

Looking back, the last time these two clubs played, the Lakers were barely able to squeak out a win (the same game that Pau Gasol returned to the court after his tendinitis break). It was a frantic finish, but a blown layup from the Bobcats turned into a 101-100 Lakers victory.

The Bobcats are proud owners of the worst defense in the league, allowing 103.4 points per game a night. Hopefully that gives the shaky Lakers offense we saw last night in Boston a chance to get back into sync. On average, teams make the deep ball against the Bobcats at a 38.8% success rate-- also the worst in the league. While they are last in the league in assists, they are also last in the league at assists "against". Long story short, this is the exact opponent that the Lakers need in order to regroup before another big nationally televised game Sunday in Miami.

But, it's the Bobcats. And the Bobcats have some sort of deal with the basketball gods that makes every game against the Lakers a coin flip. The Lakers are 8-8 against the Bobcats all-time and have the opportunity to finally pull ahead in the series. Can the Lakers do the unthinkable and take claim to a winning record against these Cats of the Bob strain?

All jokes aside, this is a big game. A win tonight, at the very least, guarantees a winning record on the seven game Grammys trek. If the Lakers botch this road trip and wind up 3-4 on the road after having every reason to have been at least 5-2 before it kicked off with a thud in Phoenix it'd be disappointing. Anything less than 4-3 isn't good enough.

Get the "easy" win tonight Lakers.

On This Soundtrack

The Long Lost, Cat Fancy

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @DrewGarrisonSBN

- Rufus on Fire, the SB Nation Bobcats blog, dissed the Lakers in a rap. Seriously.

- Los Angeles Lakers Tickets

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